Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Security Management

5/31/2017
07:05 PM
Curtis Franklin
Curtis Franklin
Curt Franklin
50%
50%

The State of the Internet Is... Scary

Mary Meeker's annual Internet report contains bad news and more bad news when it comes to security.

Each year around this time, the computer and networking industries anxiously await the release of Mary Meeker's Internet Trends 2017 report. Meeker is a former Wall Street securities analyst and now a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. This year, her 355-page report contains news on security trends, and (spoiler alert) pretty much none of it is good.

The major software and service trends are surprising only in their scale and velocity. According to Meeker, the average financial services, banking and insurance company has more than 1,100 cloud applications and services in its current technology portfolio. And that sector isn't alone; cloud applications and services in use range from a low of 893 for, of all things, technology and IT services, to a high of 1,206 for retail, restaurant and hospitality. From a flexibility and business agility standpoint, all this cloud use is a fine thing. From a security POV, there's a problem.

The problem is that every one of these individual applications and services, and every interface between two or more applications or services, represents a new attack vector and possible point of vulnerability. While some cloud applications have made great strides in their security posture during the last few years, many others haven't -- and the scale of the "haven't" side of the ledger is immense.

Meeker quotes the Netskope Cloud Confidence Index numbers to report that, in application areas like marketing and IT service/application management, 98% of all cloud services are "not enterprise ready." That is, they received a rating of “medium” or below in the Netskope Cloud Confidence Index. While that is a terrifying number, users of other types of cloud services have little room to relax since the "best" type of cloud service, cloud storage, is 72% not enterprise ready.

Security risks don't limit themselves to the cloud, of course. Meeker reports that spam volume, especially that which contains a malicious payload, has increased by more than 350% in the last 18 months. Much of that malicious payload is phishing, though we've seen from the recent WannaCry attacks that email doesn't have to ask you for personal information to cause trouble. (See WannaCry Continues at a Slowed Pace and New Insight on WannaCry's Roots.)

The bottom line is that attacks are increasing in frequency and successful attacks are increasing in their damage. What are organizations to do? The perfect solution has yet to be found, but every company should at least:

  • Armor up -- Put firewalls, filters and other necessary defenses in place. And make sure they're consistently enforcing best-practice policies.
  • Encourage paranoia -- Monitor traffic in every direction and understand what is normal and what is not. Don't neglect IoT and embedded systems in your paranoia, either. To be most effective, automate as much of the monitoring and response as possible.
  • Train your users -- Don't click on every attachment that comes through email. Or Twitter. Teach employees to be paranoid and vigilant -- it will pay off in the end.

— Curtis Franklin is the editor of SecurityNow.com. Follow him on Twitter @kg4gwa.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
How SolarWinds Busted Up Our Assumptions About Code Signing
Dr. Jethro Beekman, Technical Director,  3/3/2021
News
'ObliqueRAT' Now Hides Behind Images on Compromised Websites
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  3/2/2021
News
Attackers Turn Struggling Software Projects Into Trojan Horses
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/26/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: George has not accepted that the technology age has come to an end.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-28466
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
This affects all versions of package github.com/nats-io/nats-server/server. Untrusted accounts are able to crash the server using configs that represent a service export/import cycles. Disclaimer from the maintainers: Running a NATS service which is exposed to untrusted users presents a heightened r...
CVE-2021-27364
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.11.3. drivers/scsi/scsi_transport_iscsi.c is adversely affected by the ability of an unprivileged user to craft Netlink messages.
CVE-2021-27365
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.11.3. Certain iSCSI data structures do not have appropriate length constraints or checks, and can exceed the PAGE_SIZE value. An unprivileged user can send a Netlink message that is associated with iSCSI, and has a length up to the maximum length...
CVE-2021-27363
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.11.3. A kernel pointer leak can be used to determine the address of the iscsi_transport structure. When an iSCSI transport is registered with the iSCSI subsystem, the transport's handle is available to unprivileged users via the sysfs file system...
CVE-2021-26294
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in AfterLogic Aurora through 7.7.9 and WebMail Pro through 7.7.9. They allow directory traversal to read files (such as a data/settings/settings.xml file containing admin panel credentials), as demonstrated by dav/server.php/files/personal/%2e%2e when using the caldav_public_...